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Swiss suffer 9,500 dog bites a year

Around 9,500 people a year consult a doctor after being bitten by a dog, according to a study by accident insurer Suva.

These accidents cost insurance companies an estimated SFr11 million ($9.7 million) a year, of which SFr3.3 million can be attributed purely to dog bites.

In total, 5,400 accidents caused by dogs are declared to insurers a year, of which 60 per cent are bites.

These cases concern employed people who received obligatory insurance, Suva said on Monday. Widening out the scenario to the whole population, the number rises to 9,500 people in all, it estimates in its study covering 2003-2007.

The firm provides coverage for around half of Switzerland’s workforce.

Suva says that only a small number of these cases are reported to the authorities and is calling for a more harmonised system of reporting and data gathering across the country.

A sixth of the dog accidents happen at work and two thirds take place in public spaces, especially at the weekend. There are only 100 cases a year of joggers being mauled by canines. and agencies

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